Today, fennel tea is perhaps best known for its antispasmodic and anti-cramping properties. In addition, it stimulates the appetite, promotes good digestion and is an excellent remedy for gas.
Since fennel tea is so safe and gentle, the sweet flavor can be mixed into food or even put into baby’s bottle for the relief of colic and a child’s tummy ache.
Fennel is native to the Mediterranean region, where it grows wild in fields and on hillsides. One of the oldest plants used in herbal medicine (in ancient China fennel was valued as a cure for visual ailments), it is now cultivated for medicinal purposes in many parts of the world, including United States, Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Between July and September, the plant grows large, golden-yellow flower clusters, which produce the new fennel seeds. When the flowers are mature, the seeds are harvested and dried and can then be brushed and brewed to produce a highly potent medicinal tea.
Fennel seeds contain an essential oil with the important active ingredients anethole, fenchone and estragole. The tea, made from the crushed fennel seeds, acts as an expectorant. In the digestive tract, fennel tea removes toxins and inhibits excessive intestinal fermentation, thereby reducing gas. To reduce inflammation or swelling around the eyes, apply compresses soaked in this herbal tea.
Fennel tea is helpful for the relief of bloating and flatulence. The so-called “Four-Winds” tea blend, which contains equal parts fennel, anise, caraway and coriander seeds, has proved especially useful for this purpose. All four of these herbs have similar therapeutic properties and uses.
Medicinal Fennel Tea – Severe Respiratory Relief
Due to its mucus-dissolving properties, fennel tea is often used as an expectorant for the treatment of a whopping cough, asthma, bronchitis and other upper respiratory infections. It can also be used as a gargle for a sore throat.
Fennel Tea Recipe & Dosage for Adults, Children & Infants
Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of freshly crushed fennel seeds. Allow this mixture to steep on a hot stove for 5-10 minutes, but do not allow it to boil again. Drink this tea for the relief of digestive complaints. The recommended dose is 1 cup of tea 3 times a day, between meals. Three to six weeks of this daily fennel-tea-regimen usually bring relief. Children older than 5 years of age should take only half of this amount; infants should be given one-eighth of the adult dose.
Folk Remedy to Relieve Gastrointestinal Complaints
This medicinal folk remedy relieves abdominal pain, cramping and other types of gastrointestinal spasm: Heat 1 tablespoon of crushed fennel seeds and 1 cup of whole milk until the mixture boils. Strain and slowly sip the hot liquid.
Relief for Bronchitis & Coughs
- 1 ½ ounce fennel seeds
- 1-ounce dandelion leaves
- 1-ounce mullein flowers
Use 1-2 teaspoons of the herbs per cup of boiling water. Steep the mixture for 10 minutes and strain. Sweeten the tea with 1 teaspoon of honey to enhance its expectorant effect and relieve a cough quickly. Never use raw honey for infants.
Asthma and Whooping Cough Relief
- 1-ounce fennel seeds
- 1-ounce anise seeds
- 2/3 ounce marshmallow root
- 2/3 ounce thyme
Use 1-2 teaspoons of the herbs per cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes and strain. Sip at least 3 cups of the tea daily to relax the airways and relieve spasms.
Flatulence Relief in Adults & Colic in Infants
- 1 ½ ounce fennel seeds
- 1-ounce caraway seeds
- 1-ounce anise seeds
Use 1-2 teaspoons of the herbs per cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes and strain. Sweeten with honey if desired, unless the tea is to be given to an infant. Never use raw honey in infants!
Relieve Digestive Complaints in Infants & Children
Fennel tea’s sweet flavor and antispasmodic effect make it a good choice for children with stomach upset. In infants with colic, a few tablespoons of fennel tea bring fast relief: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of crushed fennel seeds. Allow it to steep for 10 minutes and strain. The tea is also helpful to older children with abdominal pain and flatulence. You can make fennel tea with milk instead of water or use the tea to thin whole milk or pureed foods.
Folk Medicine to Promote Lactation
In folk medicine, fennel tea is commonly used to increase milk flow in nursing mothers. To make the tea, use 1 teaspoon of crushed fennel seeds per cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes and strain. Drink at least 3 cups of the tea each day. The infusion may also relieve breast infections or nipple soreness. Soak a gauze compress in the lukewarm herbal tea and apply it to the affected area of the skin.
Home Remedy for Eye Infections
Bring ½ cup of water and 2 teaspoons of crushed fennel seeds to a boil. Remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to cool then strain. Soak a gauze compress in the lukewarm tea, cover your eyes with it and leave it on for 15 minutes. Or, use the tea as a medicinal eyewash.